Home Sport GAA The final LaoisToday football Team of the Week for 2018

The final LaoisToday football Team of the Week for 2018

Brought to you in association with Portarlington Credit Union 

The football season has almost concluded and what a year it has been.

Sunday saw the conclusion of the Senior championship as Portlaoise claimed the Jack Delaney Cup for the 11th year out of the last 12.

The Minor final was a dramatic affair with Portarlington and Ballyroan-Abbey playing out a draw.

Ballyroan-Abbey had an extra man for 40 minutes and were three points up in the fourth minute of extra time but Portarlington scored a late goal through Ceilum Coughlan-Maher to force a replay.

That game is set to take place again on Sunday and should be another keenly contested affair.

All four clubs who contested finals are represented in our selection this week – with county champions Portlaoise leading the way with five representatives.

Check it out below:

1 – Graham Brody (Portlaoise)

Graham Brody on one of his runs out the field

Graham Brody is up for an All-Star next month and you can see exactly why by his performance yesterday.

His save from Matthew Finlay may not have looked great because the ball smacked him in the face, but he was out off his line line a shot to close down the space.

2 – Gary Saunders (Portlaoise)

What a year it has been for the teenager who won his first senior medal yesterday.

He made a very important tackle towards the end of the second half that snuffed out a goal chance for O’Dempsey’s and showed composure on the ball at all times.

3 – Shane Nerney (O’Dempsey’s)

Shane Nerney

It was a tough gig for Shane Nerney on Sunday up against Paul Cahillane but he competed very well with the sharpshooter.

Came out with a lot of ball too throughout and will look to push on with Laois again next year.

4 – David Holland (Portlaoise)

David Holland was given the unenviable task of marking Laois’ top scorer in the club championship this year – Matthew Finlay.

He held Hatch to just one point from play and followed him all over the pitch. A great display and hopefully he will see more game time with Laois next year.

5 – Robbie Kehoe (O’Dempsey’s)

Robbie Kehoe was arguably the best player on the pitch in the first half of Sunday’s final.

His tackling was aggressive and every time he got the ball in his hand, he ran directly at the heart of the Portlaoise defence and caused them lots of problems. Would be great to see him back with Laois next year.

6 – Peter O’Leary (O’Dempsey’s)

Peter O’Leary

The oldest player on the O’Dempsey’s team at 33, Peter O’Leary was a real leader on the field for his side.

He charged up field with the ball in hand at will and held the half back together.

7 – Rioghan Murphy (Portarlington)

A young man with a really bright future. Portarlington lost centre back Daragh Galvin to two yellow cards in the first half and in his absence, Cathal Bennett and Rioghan Murphy really stood up.

He won the penalty which gave Portarlington a lifeline but went off late of with a shoulder injury after colliding with his own teammate. Hopefully he will be ok for the replay and he is sure to play a big role with the Laois minors next year regardless.

8 – Kieran Lillis (Portlaoise)

Kieran Lillis had a great year with Laois and he has carried that form into the club championship with Portlaoise.

Kicked a great point and generally ruled the skies for his side all afternoon.

9 – Barry Kelly (O’Dempsey’s)

Barry Kelly last played for Laois as an U-21 six years ago but his displays this year have shown he is certainly worth a shot with the seniors now.

He has incredible pace and an ability to carry the ball which he displayed again on Sunday.

10 – Mark Barry (O’Dempsey’s)

Mark Barry

Like Saunders before, this was Mark Barry’s first year playing adult football and he ended it with a league medal in his pocket.

Set up a great goal chance for Matthew Finlay in the first half and provided the assist for Dan McCormack’s goal 15 minutes later. Kicked three points himself and has all the talent to go a long way.

11 – Conor Boyle (Portlaoise)

Conor Boyle was in fine form for Portlaoise

Conor Boyle is class. He is like the Pirlo of Laois GAA and he simply oozes quality.

He always scores and he landed three points from play in the final.

12 – Craig Rogers (Portlaoise)

Craig Rogers powers forward for Portlaoise in the Laois Shopping Centre Senior Football final at O’Moore Park. Picture: Jeff Harvey/HR Photo

Rogers has had a brilliant year and although he did not score as much as in previous games, he was still central to all that Portlaoise did.

He did kick an outrageous point in the first half too.

13 – Ricky Maher (Portlaoise)

Man of the match in the county final and deservedly so. Ricky Maher scored a goal in either half and at crucial times as Portlaoise won their 11th title in the last 12 years.

He is an advertisement for perseverance as Maher has spent the last nine years trying to break into the Portlaoise team and took the opportunity with both hands.

14 – Paul Cahillane (Portlaoise)

Replacing Bruno McCormack is not easy but Paul Cahillane filled his boots well at full forward for Portlaoise.

Was involved in a fine tussle with Shane Nerney but did kick three points and played a big role in Maher’s second goal.

15 – Davin McEvoy (Ballyroan-Abbey)

Davin McEvoy won an U-15 title with Ballyroan-Abbey last week and he was one kick of a ball away from adding a minor crown to his locker on Sunday.

He came off the bench at half time and kicked 1-3 to give his side a commanding lead before Portarlington’s dramatic equaliser means we have to do it all over again.

SUBS OF THE WEEK

Ceilum Coughlan-Maher (Portarlington)

Ceilum Coughlan-Maher would probably have felt hard done by not to start in the final as he put in a great display in the semi final win over Killeshin-Crettyard.

But he came on in the second half and popped up with that all important goal to snatch a draw.

Frank Flanagan (Portlaoise)

Has lost his starting place on the team this year after spending the summer in America but what a substitute to have.

Came on to tie up big Dan McCormack for the last 20 minutes and limited his aerial threat in the time that remained.

SEE ALSO – In Pictures: Thousands raised in memory of much loved Laois man

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